Enhancing the continent’s research culture is one of STIAS’s top priorities. Fostering the next wave of African scholars is particularly crucial in order to supply the intellectual leadership required for further advancement. STIAS has created the Iso Lomso early career research fellowship programme specifically for this aim. “The eye of tomorrow” is how the isiXhosa term “iso lomso” is translated, and it implies seeing into the future, working towards the future, getting ready for the future, and building the groundwork for tomorrow.The goal of Iso Lomso is to bridge the knowledge gap that occurs between earning a Ph.D. and becoming a reputable academic in Africa.
Even while funding for PhD programmes and post-doctoral fellowships is growing, the biggest loss of talent happens in the longer post-doctoral term. Iso Lomso draws inspiration from STIAS’s goals and culture. It enhances and expands upon the Institute’s tried-and-true methodology rather than providing a substitute for the normal fellows’ programme. By including a younger generation, it seeks to expand the current intellectual exchange and improve it.
The Institute’s emphasis on multidisciplinary research and its mission to establish research networks both inside and outside of Africa will also serve as a guide for the course. In keeping with what an Institute for Advanced Study is all about STIAS does not enable fieldwork or grant access to experimental facilities. Primarily experimental research projects will typically only be accepted if the fieldwork or experiments are paid for by the home or another organisation. In these situations, the submission needs to include details about current financing and a precise description of the project’s research components, which will be the main focus of the STIAS residencies.
Iso Lomso fellowships give recipients a three-year connection to STIAS, allowing them to plan and carry out a long-term research project of their choosing. The intention is to assist and enable them on their path to becoming reputable academics in their disciplines. STIAS residences are the primary source of assistance. The fellow, his or her home institution, and STIAS will mutually agree on the length of the residency, which could range from six weeks to five months. Generally speaking, a longer-term first residence will begin in 2025 and be followed by two further residencies through 2027.
Shortlisted candidates may be contacted during May 2024 for any additional information that may be required about their proposed projects. A final selection will be made by the end of May 2024 and successful candidates will be contacted during June 2024.
- Residence at STIAS: A three-year attachment to STIAS during which time you may spend a total of ten months in residence at STIAS to develop and pursue a long-term research project
- Links to sister institutions: The possibility of a residency at a partner institute for advanced study or other research intensive institution abroad
- International conferences: Funding to attend up to two international conferences or training workshops anywhere in the world
- Your own workshop: Support to convene a workshop with collaborators at STIAS or at their home institution
- Support for your institution: Lecturer replacement subsidy for your home institution during residency periods
Residence fellows receive regular STIAS fellow support which includes:
- an economy return flight;
- comfortable accommodation within walking distance from the institute;
- individual offices equipped with a PC, telephone and printer;
- a monthly stipend for daily living costs;
- access to the Stellenbosch University library (including electronic resources) and a high-speed internet connection;
- participation in the regular STIAS fellows programme, including daily lunch, weekly fellows’ seminars, STIAS public lectures and social events;
- a child care subsidy for fellows accompanied by young children while in residence.
While not in residence at STIAS Iso Lomso fellows will continue their regular academic duties at their home institution. During these periods fellows may apply for a range of research sponsorship interventions. These elements will be considered in a flexible manner to ensure that each fit optimally into the research programme. They may include:
- a subsequent residency at a sister Institute for Advanced Study or relevant research institution in North America, Europe or elsewhere (this will form part of the ten months’ residency allocation; the fellow’s preferences for potential host institutions will be considered);
- funding to attend up to two relevant academic conferences or research training events (covering travel, accommodation and
- limited project funding for key interventions in the research programme;
- the possibility of hosting a workshop at STIAS or their at their home institution as a means of strengthening the fellow’s scholarly network and research impact.
To be eligible for the 2024 call, applicants must:
- be a national of any African country;
- be born after the 1st of January 1981;
- have an affiliation at a research or higher education institution in an African country, and continue to do so for the foreseeable future;
- have obtained a doctoral degree from any recognised higher education institution (worldwide) after the 1st of January 2016;
- have completed a post-doctoral fellowship or equivalent post-PhD research programme;
- be in a position to commence a first period of residency at STIAS during 2025.
- Please fill out the application which can be found in the apply link/ official link.
- Submit the form with documentation, Email to: [email protected] (for postal entries, please contact the coordinator first)
The following documents, all in PDF format, must accompany your application:
- A motivational cover letter of not more than one page in length. The letter should include a description of the applicant’s academic career, detailing the ideas and experiences that have shaped and motivated his or her intellectual work.
- A pre-proposal for a three-year research project. This is a short essay of two to three pages which provides (i) a summary of the applicant’s current research/work, (ii) the main thesis of the proposed research project, including the problem statement and aim of the project, (iii) an overview of existing literature and other sources for the project, (iv) the project’s theoretical background and methodological approach, (v) the significance/relevance of the project for African scholarship, and (vi) a provisional time framework with proposed periods of residency at STIAS, additional activities, and research outputs.
- One or two recent writing examples authored by the applicant (articles or book sections) related to the proposed project.
- A copy of the applicant’s doctoral certificate.
- An up-to-date Curriculum Vitae
- A letter of support from your home institution (either from the head of department, dean of faculty, principal of college, or equivalent) which contains a confirmation of the applicant’s academic position and an assurance from the institution that the applicant will be released for residential research periods.
Institutions are reminded that STIAS provides teaching replacement funding during periods of residency, and that research residencies aim not only to develop candidates’ own research profiles, but also to develop a cohort of academic leaders to the benefit of scholarship in the continent.
- Two letters of recommendation from scholars who are familiar with the applicant’s work, preferably one from the applicant’s current home institution and one from another institution. The letter should be printed on an official institutional letterhead and should include the name of the recommender, the academic position of the recommender, an indication of how long and in what capacity the recommender has known the applicant, and an evaluation of the merit of the applicant’s proposed project and ability to complete the proposed work during three years. The letters of recommendation will be confidential and should be sent by the recommender directly to [email protected].
Application Deadline: February 15, 2024Application ClosedOfficial link